Fans of The Good Place may be sad that the show is ending soon, but Jameela Jamil's Instagram post encouraging women to be ambitious proves she's going to continue inspiring women with or without a hit show on NBC.
It was announced earlier this year that The Good Place would conclude after four seasons on NBC, and filming has already wrapped on the final episode. Jamil, who plays Tahani, has already shared her thoughts on the bittersweet ending on Instagram. But now she's using these moments of reflection as a way to inspire other women to take risks in their careers, just like she did before landing the role of her dreams.
On Sunday, August 4, Jamil shared a sweet photo of her and William Jackson Harper, who plays Chidi on The Good Place, at a panel at San Diego Comic-Con. In her caption, she looked back on her journey to The Good Place, writing,
"I was sitting and reflecting on my journey over the past 4 years/10 years/30 years and remembering how MUCH I was discouraged from moving to California to start my life and career over again at 29. I was told I was too old for a girl, I was told there were no opportunities for south Asian women, and I was told I wasn’t thin enough."
Jamil continued, mentioning that it wasn't just naysayers keeping her from pursuing acting in the U.S., but also healthcare professionals. "I have EDS 3 [Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome], so doctors always told me I wouldn’t be able to have an active job when I was an adult. These people prescribed me a life that had nothing to do with what I knew I was capable of," she wrote.
Though the actor could have easily let these opinions box her into certain types of roles, or push her out of the entertainment industry entirely, she decided to follow her instinct. And, clearly, it paid off.
Jamil continued, stressing the importance of striking out, especially as women. She wrote,
"TRYING IS WINNING. You’re a hero for taking a chance on yourself whatever happens. And most people will be forever haunted by the words “what if?” Don’t be that person. Please just go for whatever it is that you love, if you have the slightest opportunity to. Rejection still means you were a legend for risking your pride being hurt; to put yourself out there. That takes SO much character."
Women have always faced barriers to reaching the same levels of success as men, but Jamil touched on a point that is perhaps discussed less often: women are discouraged from having any ambition at all, as noted in Harvard Business Review. And part of this discouragement comes from an intense fear of failure, which is something Jamil desperately wants women to look beyond.
Jamil concluded with a call to action for women, writing,
"Do not apologize for being ambitious and thinking outside the box you have been forced into by the people around you, or by society’s stereotypes of your people. Rage against the machine and do not conform. Do not behave. Do not surround yourself with nay-sayers. No more 'can’t.' No more 'shouldn’t.' You can’t win a game if you don’t play. I’m not saying I’m the pinnacle of success. I’m just doing more than I was ever told I could. And I’m happy with that. Jam x Tag a friend who needs to read this smug post today. ❤️ #womendontbragenough"
Jamil's message is clear: don't be afraid to be ambitious, and definitely don't let others tell you what you can and cannot do. Not only that, but be proud of your accomplishments. The actor started her Instagram post by calling it a "smug post," and she wants other women to be smug too.
Every woman, no matter their career path, can and should follow Jamil's example. Trying is winning, even if it ends in failure, and one woman who tries, like Jamil, can inspire so many others.